Review – Legend of the Blue Sea
A profoundly unspecial fantasy romance. Oh, how I wanted to love this show! But every little thing about it was so enormously contrived and flat. The “romance” was just a nonstop series of cliches and ridiculousness. Just like in the show Tomorrow With You, the writers and director seemed to think that putting two attractive people opposite each other is all it takes for everyone around the world to collectively sigh. Well, this gal groaned. Loudly. And because I wanted to like it, it just made it worse. It was like forcing yourself to enjoy a treat way past its expiration date… it was just dry and a bitter reminder of all the other dramas that have done this better in the past. You know, the fresh ones.
Plotline, basic version: A mermaid comes to land following her one true love… but if she doesn’t win his affection in return, she will die.
Overall Rating – 5/10. A Can Of Anchovies When You Ordered Fresh Salmon.
More Grumbling and Ranting and Spoilers follow….
This is one of those shows were even the things that should have been great became some of the worst elements.
Example 1: The Cameos of Better Actors. There were quite a few cameos of great actors – dropping little lines and hints about other shows. What? Why would they do that? Is that supposed to be funny? In house advertising for the station? Please don’t take us out of the story we are watching right now to remind us of better dramas. And more often than not, the cameo actors were far better than the principal actors… which also ended up working against the show.
Example 2: The backstory was more interesting than the current story. Sometimes. The younger versions of both our lead actors were captivating as young people falling in love in the Joseon era. They were soooo great!
Where this started to bit its own ass… Lee Min-Ho. He’s not a believable Joseon scholar. He seemed too uncomfortable and out of place running around in those robes and swinging a sword. He’s a much more believable charming con-man in modern times. Also… they never really developed the back story past the romance… it just felt like a light sketch thrown in for convenience. It felt like lazy writing.
Example 3: The mermaid in the modern world. Okay… there were so many inconsistencies with this it was blinding! The things she inherently accepts and understands as compared to things she doesn’t make no sense if you scrutinize it. Most of her adorable “Oh, what’s a television set?!” and “What is a family?” moments ended up coming across as lame. This actress is very lovely and pulls off the lulling voice of the sea mixed with the wide eyes of innocence… but she just seemed an awkward mix of naive and comfortable as a fish out of water. Let’s face it… they didn’t think too hard about it when writing this story. Her character was a mess. And nothing she did felt new or original… it was the same cheesy, corny “cutesy” stuff we see girls do, mermaid or no, in other dramas all the time. Like eating like a total slob. Oh how adorable, right? Wrong.
Example 4: The Con Men Roommates…. are both lovable and plastic. They have zero backstory. They have little personality outside of their blatant stereotypes. The only time they were really used to any good effect was when constantly acting as plot control for our lead lovers. I found them frustrating… mainly because I wanted to like them, especially the devious older ringleader, but was just left with this generic cut out character instead.
Example 4.5: The Actual Con Jobs… were horrible. Are we really supposed to believe that waving a flame in front of someone’s eyes instantly hypnotizes them? And if this guy has this type of skills… why does he forget about them the rest of the show? The cons were ridiculous…. and the show didn’t even try to bother explaining them, as they were obvious filler. Whatever. I mean… are they confidence men or hustlers or into heists? It seems far fetched that they do it all. And have a garage full of service vehicles of every kind. Just… so dumb.
Example 5: When our leading man could read our leading lady’s mind. This was cute. And used, blatantly, to move the story forward as they couldn’t seem to come up with a better way to do it. And yet it was also so stupid. She may be a mermaid… and otherwordly… but whose internal dialogue sounds like that? And who just stands around and thinks in these slow poetic sentences while the other person stares at them… and then thinks that’s normal? How long does she think most humans wait for a reply? Apparently… twenty freakin’ minutes of staring while she goes through her inner monologue. Ugh.
Example 6: The family plotlines. God. Just… stab me in the eye. It was so bad! Sooo bad. And such of waste of good actors. I’m all about some melodramatic ridiculous backstories involving evil stepmoms and abandonment and murder. Ya’ll know I love melodramas! But somehow this show took what should have been a fun dramatic side story and made it so dumb. And not at all scary or engaging or interesting. I could not have cared less about the estranged family or the murder plots of the devious step kid or whatever else. Not to mention the social climbing family side story. I mean… at least they made sense in a generic way that better suited this generic storyline.
Esh. Anyways, I wasn’t a fan. I watched the whole thing… by some freakin’ miracle. But I probably should have abandoned this sinking ship somewhere around episode three.